- If a sound in a word is rhotic, it has the sound the letter r makes in most American, Canadian, and Irish ways of talking.
- If a dialect (form of a language) is rhotic, it uses this sound after a vowel. Note that a dialect of English may be called non-rhotic even though this sound is said at the beginning of words.
The rhotic consonant is written as /r/ or /ɻ/ in IPA (international phonetic alphabet), and the rhotic vowel as /ɝ/ or /ɚ/ if no other vowel is there. The symbol /r/ is for a trilled are, but is sometimes used for all these sounds in writing English pronunciation. This is because all native English speakers would hear these as meaning the same thing. Trilled /r/ is found in Scottish English. All types of English say the R if it starts a word.